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More fun running in the snow

Written by Fiona December 03 2010

I remember the same happening to me last winter. Running in the snow makes me smile. A lot! I’ve no idea why. Perhaps it’s simply a different challenge. Or maybe it’s the bright blue skies that have arrived with the snow. Or it could be the seeming silliness of the activity. I don’t suppose it matters, except that while the snow is a nuisance in all sorts of ways, as a runner I think it’s really fab!

While I’ve already blogged about my snowy outings earlier this week I reckon the Glasgow Tri Club training session last night also merits a small blog of its own! Some 18 slightly bonkers members turned out for the session led by Coach Seanster. He’d already been to check out our venue for the evening’s session and he could hardly conceal his amusement. He’s a chirpy kind of chap in most circumstances but last night when we all gathered at our meeting point at Glasgow High School he had an impish twinkle in his eye.

Our usual session at this time of the year is hill running on a gentle but long hill in the Jordanhill area of Glasgow. The reps are hard going but the session is great for strength building over the winter. With so much snow on roads and pavements, Coach Seanster decided we’d run in playing fields that were even snowier! There was a method to his madness, however!

The  snow that is currently covering our pavements is either slushy and slippy, icy or unpredictably a mixture of both. In some places it’s fine for running but many sections threaten to snap your ankle. Instead, the snow on the playing fields was pretty much untouched by humans or cars and remains soft, although deep.

Running in deep snow is very tiring. To start with you need to lift your feet higher than normal to avoid tripping in the white stuff.  You also need to engage core muscles to remain stable and upright. On many occasions I found myself needing to correct my balance or my body movement because of the bumps in the snow and in the grass beneath. My calf, thighs and outer leg muscles all got a heavy-duty workout, too.

We ran for 90 seconds uphill across the field and then had 90 seconds to return. We did this 10 times.  By rep five I knew I would have burning thighs and calves at the end of the session. The burn actually became pretty bad on the eighth rep. By rep 10 I was delighted to have completed the challenge but I could feel a big lactic build up in my leg muscles.

But as I’ve said, I love running in snow and despite the pain of my legs and the hard work of pushing through the deep snow I had a smile on my face the whole time. The session was mad yet satisfying.

I’m thinking of a long country run in the snow this weekend! Any suggestions of where to run near Glasgow?

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